Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Nammazhvar – 2907

If you say he is, then he is, his form pervades all things;
If you say he isn’t, still his formlessness pervades all things;
With the virtue of both being and not being
He is pervasive across all time and space.

உளனெனி லுளனவ னுருவமிவ் வுருவுகள்
உளனல னெனிலவன் அருவமிவ் வருவுகள்
உளனென விலனென விவைகுண முடைமையில்
உளனிரு தகைமையொ டொழிவிலன் பரந்தே.

This is a tongue twister and wordplay verse by Nammazhvar. He says that God is everywhere. Even if atheists say he is not there, yet his formlessness pervades across things. He has the quality of being and not being. Hence he is present in all things, at all times, all over.

I hope I have conveyed the meaning properly in translation. Being not well versed in devotional literature, I am always hesitant to attempt them.

உளன் – He is (there)
இலன் – He is not (there)
உருவம் – form
அருவம் – formlessness
குணம் – quality/ virtue
தகைமை – characteristic
ஒழிவு இலன் – no place he is not there (omnipresent)

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